Our family watched a movie about one of the most historical events ever; “The Nativity”. The way the film portrayed the personality of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was curious to me because she rarely smiled. Being the mother of Jesus, Mary was a world-changer, so I expected her character to meet certain expectations.
In the movie Mary was portrayed as a responsible young woman who lived with her family in a region under Roman governance. King Herod was the ruling authority at the time. Herod was considerably threatened by rumors of another King emerging in the land and he made regular attempts to identify his rival. Sadly his methods imposed treacherous and sometimes lethal assaults on the common people.
As I observed Herod’s desperate efforts to protect his monarchy, I began to see reason for Mary’s stoic countenance. It was not unusual for Roman soldiers to sweep into an area without warning in order to intimidate, capture, or kill. Mary lived in a day when public abuse and punishment were marked. The striking sight of a human corpse in a tree or dangling from scaffolding was not uncommon, and the emotional effect of such scenes had to be reckoned with. As a result, the movie portrayed a Mary who had to manage her passions and emotions like anyone else in order to cope with the dissonance in her day.
Considering Mary’s calling to be a world-changer I was expecting a very different Mary; one protected from ugliness, pretty much glowing with joy, skipping through life under a God-beam. With each on-screen appearance I searched Mary’s face for a hint of happiness. And then I got the revelation; the character portrayed in the film was the more accurate one. God was identifying the disparity between the ‘human’ person, and the ‘superhuman’ or ‘supernatural’ God.
In order for Jesus to be born as both God and man, a human vessel was required. Mary was the perfect representation of humankind. She was a young woman living in and grieved by a sinful world, moved by humanity’s deprivation, unpretentiously waiting for the promised Savior’s appearance. God overshadowed a respectable and willing vessel to incubate the perfect union of flesh and Spirit.
So Mary did not live an advantaged life in the protective glow of a God-beam. She was not the product of royalty, and she did not possess exceptional powers. She was simply real, and she was willing. God seeks real people to fulfill His sensational purposes. They are the ones who will honestly say, as Mary did, “May it be done to me as You have said”. From such an allegiance the world is forever changed.
Luke 1:38 NIV ”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/22/2008 11:08 PM